Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Advertising can tell you a lot about a country. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Advertising does not mean to educate or illustrate. Primarily it is a vehicle for business and it aims to sell products. As a result, the information we can gather from looking at advertisings is quite limited. However, the cultural ideas used to sell commodities reveal a society's value system, and from the nature of the advertising and the product it aims to sell we can draw conclusions as to which social demography might be the most affluent.
In order to be most effective an advertising campaign will make use of the cultural values of a country. Obviously, companies will be able to sell more products if a great many people relate to the goods and the images used to sell them. For example, in a country like the United States where a great percentage of the population is religious, advertisers use expressions such as heavenly, divine, or revelation, because these have connotations that prospective customers will likely identify with. Similarly, advertisers will try to employ fashion models who embody a culture's ideals of personal beauty, because attractive men and women will sell more products than unattractive ones.
Companies identify social demographics or parts of society that are most likely to buy their products and design their advertisings accordingly. For example, teenage girls are more likely to buy mobile phones than retired factory workers. Thus companies will make use of fashion trends in their ads and probably pay a famous pop singer a big chunk of money to endorse their product. If the majority of all advertisings in a country are geared towards a specific target market or audience, then this part of the population probably has the most financial resources at their disposal.
Although we can learn some things about a country by looking at its advertising we have to remember that this knowledge is limited. After all, advertising is only directed at people who have the means to buy consumer goods. Thus advertising does not tell us anything about the overall prosperity or likes and dislikes of a country. Also, advertising not only reflects but also tries to shape and change cultural values. Therefore, it does not accurately reflect the exact state of a country's culture.